Council bows to Libdem pressure and rescinds decision to end funding for HIV support

Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council have welcomed the decision by the council to rescind its decision to end, on the 30th September the Torbay public health funding of local provision of advocacy, care and support for people who have been diagnosed with HIV and their carers and family members and redirect them to nationally available digital provision and help lines as appropriate.
The leader of the Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council, Steve Darling, said : “We are cautiously welcoming this news. We are concerned that it may be a stay of execution for the support to this vulnerable group of people in Torbay. We are shocked that it appears the council failed to do their homework on this and was forced by the Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council to call a halt to these proposals when it became apparent that the decision would be the subject of public scrutiny.”
The Torquay councillor went on to say: “We will continue to be vigilant for any further threats to this service.”

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Mayor wants to reduce funding to Investment Committee

Mayor is wrong to limit Investment Committee’s potential say Torbay Libdems.

Torbay’s mayor is once again at loggerheads with his own Conservative colleagues over his plans to put less money into Torbay’s investment committee than what is being asked for.
In July’s council meeting the mayor’s recommendation to approve the Investment Fund Strategy was objected to on the basis that the amount of money within the Investment fund should see a much bigger increase than the additional £50 million set out in the recommendation and that the level of authority delegated to the investment committee should be higher than proposed by the mayor.
Despite the objection, the mayor is expected to stand-by his original recommendation at this Tuesday’s meeting setting him at odds with members of his own party as well as the Liberal Democrats.

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Proposed "New Wards" in Torbay give electoral advantage to the Conservatives

Torbay Council have published (Wednesday 19 July) their proposals for new wards in Torbay. Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council have branded Conservative proposals for new wards in Torbay as gerrymandering. While the majority of wards stay the same the most controversial Tory proposals cut the community of Ellacombe in half resulting in an increase in the size of safe conservative seat Wellswood ward from 2 to 3 councillors. This Tory meddling also sees parts of Brixham cast off into the Churston with Galmpton ward.

Liberal Democrat ward councillor for Ellacombe, Cindy Stocks, said: “The Local Government Commission want any new wards to reflect communities. Despite this, the proposal to cut Ellacombe in half flies in the face of the principle. The ward and parish of Ellacombe sit in a natural combe and was originally Ellacombe Farm. The natural ridge of the Warberries copse makes a natural boundary. The community faces the town centre and so it is more logical for any expansion of the ward to include this part of Torquay rather than going over the other side of the hill."

Cllr Steve Darling, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Torbay Council, said: “We have worked with officers and have developed a proposal that more accurately reflects the way that Ellacombe and Torquay town centre interact. This new ward of Ellacombe and Torquay Central exactly hits the target of numbers of electors to councillors that the commission wish to see. It also more closely reflects the topography of Torquay and the way that people live their lives.”

A second amendment to be put by Paignton Liberal Democrat councillors would see the historic high street of Winner Street included in the Clifton with Maidenway ward. Liberal Democrat Paignton ward councillor Ian Doggett said: “Town centres can generate a lot of work for councillors from the traders. We felt that by including Winner Street in the mostly residential Clifton with Maidenway ward we could share the burden."

Contact Cindy Stocks 07787766544
Steve Darling 07736658666
Ian Doggett 07 01803 555025

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Libdem councillors demand sight of Planning Services report

The leader of the Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council, Steve Darling, said: “We were promised copies of the action plan to tackle the issues identified in this report weeks ago, but we have not received this information. I also shared my concerns at the last Full Council that this report was being hushed up. I am now demanding that the report is released under the Freedom of Information Act. “

He went on to say: “Planning is a public service and we as Liberal Democrats believe that as the public purse has paid for a review of a service then the public should have sight of the findings.”

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New Member of Torbay Council

Despite there having been no local elections in Torbay there will be a new face at this week's Full Council meetings.

A few weeks ago, Coral, Cllr Mandy Darling’s guide dog retired and was rehomed by fellow Liberal Democrat councillor Adrian Sanders. Now, following a period of intensive training, Cllr Darling returns to the Council chamber with a new dog, Pepsi, who was set to attend her first council meeting on Tuesday 9th May.

This is Cllr Mandy Darling’s fourth guide dog. Mandy said: “It is always difficult saying goodbye to a dog who has enabled my independence for many years, but Coral deserves her retirement. Pepsi, a 21 month black Labrador/retriever cross, is a real live-wire and, like Coral, works really well. I am looking forward, with the assistance of Pepsi, to getting out into the streets of the ward I represent, the heart of Torquay.”

Contact Cllr Mandy Darling 07736 6586666

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Torbay Council to back formation of Housing company

At the Full Council meeting  to be held on the 6th of April, Liberal Democrat councillors on Torbay Council are set to back the next step in the establishment of a housing company in Torbay, The project is mostly driven by the need for the Council to generate income in the light of the savage cuts to all council budgets by the national Conservative government. The company would build its own homes for sale and rent and could intervene in the housing market in Torbay to tackle  inequalities.   

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Torbay Council hopefully to build more afforable housing

Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council have welcomed a decision at last week’s Full Council meeting to take the next step in enabling the local authority to start building houses and flats in the bay for sale and rent. This is possible because the council can borrow the money at historically low rates of interest and use this to help meet housing needs in the bay. 
The Liberal  Democrat group leader, Steve Darling, said: "This is something we have been campaigning for the council to do for many years. The reason why the council have come round to this idea is to provide an income- generating stream, but if handled correctly this can achieve much much more, such as opportunities for employment and training, as well as opportunities for local businesses. Because we have less than half the national average of units of affordable social housing in Torbay the deficiency has mostly been filled by poor quality private housing. With the council engaging in the rented housing market there is an opportunity to raise standards by it potentially becoming the landlord of choice. "

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Planning meetings should be when working people can attend

Torbay Lib Dems call for Planning meetings to take place at time when working people can attend.

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Impact of Brexit on Torbay

With a continuing lack of leadership from the national Conservative government, Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council, at the Full Council meeting on 22 September, are set to challenge the Conservative and  UKIP-controlled administration to get a grip on the changes that will face Torbay in a world outside the EU.  In a motion to Full Council the opposition Liberal Democrats lay out a clear agenda for the council to follow. 

Paignton Liberal Democrat councillor Adrian Sanders said: "The public have given the government a clear instruction to negotiate the UK's exit from the EU. While the government cannot prevaricate or hesitate, they must be careful to take into consideration the effects on local areas that have benefited from EU support and the free movement of workers and students.
Torbay's tourism and care industry, NHS services and language schools have all benefited greatly, as have a number of infrastructure projects that might not otherwise have received UK funding alone, from Brixham Fish Quay to the South Devon Highway.
Torbay Council needs to take a lead representing the interests of the businesses and people who could lose out significantly if the government overlooks them in the long and complex process of negotiating the terms of our exit. These terms should be put to the people for approval when completed."

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Air show cost

Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council are set to reject a call by the Conservative-controlled council to bankroll the Torbay Air Show following its £250,000 loss this year. 
The three year commitment would see the underwriting of the project to the tune of £211,000.  The opposition group on Torbay Council are also concerned that there is no contingency plan in case the event is washed out by bad weather.

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